Audit Committee Surveys

Audit Committee Surveys

Our audit committee surveys allow us to identify the key challenges and concerns facing audit committees and boards. The results help shape our suggested agendas to aid board and audit committee planning.

Associate Partner

KPMG in the UK


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Global Audit Committee Survey

Auditor transition

Pulse survey on experiences of auditor transition

We surveyed 32 FTSE350 audit committee chairs who had changed auditors as a result of a tender during the last three years. We asked questions about the transition process, handover from one auditor to another, impact on the business, the degree to which tender ‘promises’ had been delivered and the challenges of transition.

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Changing auditors

Pulse survey into the principal risks and benefits of changing auditors.

Regular audit tendering and rotation is now a reality. During our recent series of ACI Technical Updates we took the opportunity to explore the perceived risks and benefits of changing the external auditor with around 150 audit committee members.

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Global Pulse Survey: Building a Great Board

KPMG surveyed more than 2,300 directors and senior executives globally to better understand how directors achieve the right mix of personnel in the boardroom.

Some of the key findings from the global survey include:

  • Board composition - and alignment with strategy - is a key priority.
  • Significant barriers exist to building a high-performing board. 
  • Despite wide recognition of the importance of succession planning in achieving optimal board composition, few boards have a formal succession plan in place.
  • There are important mechanisms to help maintain optimal board composition - but they are often underutilised.
  • Generating the necessary change and turnover to achieve the “right” board composition requires an active approach.

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Four key challenges for global audit committees

The increasing volatility and complexity of the global business and risk environment – conflict in the Middle East, slowing growth in China and emerging markets, volatility in commodity prices and currencies, interest rate uncertainty, and more – raise an important question for every global audit committee. How is this global volatility and uncertainty affecting the committee’s agenda?

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On the 2016 Audit Committee Agenda

Prioritising a heavy audit committee agenda is never easy, and 2016 will be particularly challenging given the level of global volatility and uncertainty – e.g. the geopolitical environment, commodity prices, interest rates, currency fluctuations, slowing growth in emerging markets – as well as technology advances disrupting established industries and business models. Drawing on insights from interactions with audit committees and business leaders over the past year, we flag ten items for audit committees to keep in mind as they consider and carry out their 2016 agendas.

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On the 2016 Board Agenda

The road ahead for companies in 2016 will be particularly challenging given the level of global volatility and uncertainty. In this environment, the spotlight on corporate directors will continue to intensify as investors and regulators scrutinise the board’s involvement in strategy, risk, and compliance. In our briefing, ‘On the 2016 Board Agenda’, we draw attention to six broader themes that boards might keep in mind as they consider and carry out their 2016 agendas.

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Global Pulse Survey 2015

Calibrating strategy and risk: A board's eye view

KPMG surveyed more than 1,000 directors and senior executives internationally to better understand how boards are helping their companies calibrate strategy and risk. Our survey explored where boards are deepening their engagement and where the biggest challenges and concerns exist.

Our research suggests that while many boards are clearly stepping up their game, significant challenges remain.

Key findings:

  • Boards continue to deepen their involvement in strategy and its execution
  • Linking strategy and risk effectively continues to elude many boards 
  • Better risk information and access to expertise remain top of mind 
  • Cyber security may require further expertise, more attention from the full board and potentially a new committee
  • Oversight of key strategic and operational risks could be more effectively communicated among the board and its committees

We hope our findings and observations, from interviews and interaction with directors, are helpful as you assess and calibrate your company’s approach to strategy and risk.

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Global Audit Committee Survey 2015

To help identify the key challenges and concerns facing audit committees, boards, and their companies today, KPMG’s Audit Committee Institute surveyed around 1,500 audit committee members in 36 countries.

Our survey identifies broad international trends and provides detailed country data on audit committee challenges and concerns in different geographies.

A range of timely issues were explored including:

  • The audit committee’s workload and agenda
  • Risk and information quality
  • Oversight of auditors
  • Audit committee effectiveness and mechanics

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See also our 2014 Global Audit Committee Survey

Audit Committee Agenda for 2015

Prioritising a heavy audit committee workload is never easy, and 2015 will continue to be challenging, given developments in the global risk, regulatory, and political environments. Drawing on insights from the 2015 Global Audit Committee Survey and interactions with audit committees and business leaders over the past 12 months, ten things have been flagged that audit committees should keep in mind as they consider and carry out their 2015 agendas.

  1. Maintain (or regain) control of the audit committee’s agenda
  2. Stay apprised of global audit reform initiatives
  3. Monitor fair value estimates, impairments and judgements of key assumptions underlying critical accounting estimates
  4. Consider whether the financial statements and other disclosures tell the company’s story
  5. Understand the company’s domestic and international tax positions and the implications for the brand
  6. Understand the implications of the new revenue recognition standard and other accounting changes on the horizon
  7. Make the most of the audit committee’s time together
  8. Quality financial reporting starts with the CFO and finance organisation; maintain a sharp focus on leadership and bench strength
  9. Make sure the company’s ethics and compliance programmes are keeping up with new vulnerabilities to fraud and misconduct
  10. Position internal audit to be an indispensable resource

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See also our 2014 Audit Committee Agenda

Board Agenda for 2015

The challenges for companies and their boards in 2015 are expected to be intense, with a volatile economic and geopolitical landscape, the accelerating speed of technological change, and competitive disruption topping the list. The spotlight on corporate directors continues to intensify as regulators and investors scrutinise the board’s contribution to strategy, risk, and compliance. Drawing on insights from the KPMG network’s interaction with directors and business leaders over the past 12 months, several flags have emerged that boards should keep in mind as they consider and carry out their 2015 agendas.

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UK Audit Committee Institute

The Audit Committee Institute provides audit committee members with professional development, resources and access to a community of professionals.

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